Herald: ‘CAKEWALK’ WAS ANYTHING BUT A CAKEWALK

‘CAKEWALK’ WAS ANYTHING BUT A CAKEWALK

16 Feb 2019 04:21am IST

Report by
Dibyojyoti Baksi

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16 Feb 2019 04:21am IST

Report by
Dibyojyoti Baksi

Leave a comment

Says ace film journalist-turned-filmmaker, Ram Kamal Mukherjee and reveals that his protagonist Esha Deol Takhtani turned him into a film director.

 

If it looks like an auto transition from an unabashed muckraking

film journalist to turn a filmmaker, Ram Kamal Mukherjee argues that it was no easy a journey to make his short film directorial ‘Cakewalk’, starring Esha Deol Takhtani, Tarun Malhotra, Anindita Bose, Siddhartha Chatterjee, see the light of the day.

Ram Kamal, who baked ‘Cakewalk’ from a raw story of a woman’s triumph over odds he wrote, to screenplay integrated with dialogues along with Chandrodoy Pal, meant to make the film as a producer but never knew an artist’s vision can be tested at so many points of time. “Esha was ready to do the film as soon she heard the story but on condition that I direct the film. She said that as it was my story and I know how the characters sit, talk and emote, so I only have to direct the film,” reveals Ram who had recently written the biography of Esha’s mother and eminent actress Hema Malini, titled ‘Hema Malini: Beyond the Dream Girl’ that scored quite a success.

Once Ram hovered this unique idea of making a short film, he had to transcend arrays of preconceived writs of theories and people’s endemic inability to look into the depth with more than a consummate eye, he regrets. “Everybody discouraged me. All had their negative self in fore. Where will you do it? You will get a YouTube release, who will watch it? How will you mount the film? How can you guarantee the return on investment? Why not with a younger, popular, mainstream actor? They were actually not understanding what I was trying to do,” he laments.

Principally, he chose not to let Hema Malini close rank behind him for this project. “I didn’t [approach Hema Malini] and I purposely didn’t to avoid it being called a family-funded film and I didn’t want people to say it was a cakewalk for Ram Kamal. I named the film Cakewalk but everything was anything but cakewalk”, he grins. His approached was finally shaped by Dinesh Gupta, Shailendra Kumar and Aritra Das, who came together to produce the film.

Bollywood is a different ball game for a debutant director with a fresh idea. Almost eight years ago he had decided to make his first feature film and ‘was almost done with the casting of Esha, Riteish Deshmukh and South Indian actor Surya. Somehow, that never worked out.’

Ram decided to take baby step to have a better foothold as a storyteller before he takes a quantum leap to feature films. “I first wanted to prove myself as a good storyteller. I thought I would rather go with the newer trend of short film, web-series, digital platform, because there you really don’t have to bother too much about where will you show the film. I didn’t have a platform when I started the film, but I was pretty sure about the content and it will get platform,” he said. The film is set to have its World TV Premiere on Rishtey Cineplex HD on February 17.

Ram is not a novice. He gathered on-job experience on filmmaking working in around 12 films while he was with Pritish Nandy Communications and recent enough he produced ‘Bin Kuch Kahe’, a television series aired on Zee TV. He has another short film ‘Season Greetings’ in post-production and signed two more short films before he takes a plunge to fulfill his long-dormant dream of making a feature film.

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